Patricia Falanga lives in Newcastle, Australia, where she is an aspiring poet,
writer, composer and published author of syllabuses for the teaching of Italian
to children in primary schools.
What I write is what I strive to be —
Concise, analytical, smart ...
Inner rhymes arise unbidden.
Sweet confusions, carelessly hidden,
In spite of me
The stops and starts of a still sentient heart.
In Passing —
I passed you on the street the other day —
A carefree and courageous girl
With skirts aswirl
And nothing in your way.
The wind had wanton fingers in your hair
But, being no-one's chosen bride,
With buoyant stride,
You simply did not care.
You passed, not even slackening your pace,
And joy was in your untamed hips
And on your lips
And shining in your face.
In case you saw me trying not to cry,
Then I must ask a favour, dear:
Forgive my tear;
It isn't every day you see a former self go by.
Was it really necessary to try so hard,
Feel so much,
Give so completely
To achieve this peak of profound indifference?
Only open the gates and my soul shall be healed
Albeit I drown in the flood of my grief.
From a Distant Shore —
How did you know,
Child of a golden sunset,
Wondering at the beauty of it all,
Or even guess
A soul might be oblivious
And cry then, for the pity of it all?
Unyielding as the powers that pull the tides,
Relentless as the waves that pound the sands.
The question stands:
How did you even know I waited
Here on the other side?
I am the ghost
Perceived at your beginning,
Marvelling at the mystery of it all.
I am the child
Immersed in golden sunset;
I am the phantom on a distant shore.
Snow Globe —
Beneath this marbled dome of sky and cloud
Wherein my little life is staged and set
And circumscribed from cradle to the shroud,
I recognise mortality
And contemplate eternity
While outside lies infinity.
Hyperbole and I have parted ways.
She wastes her worth in wanton flights
And, too effete to reach the heights,
Now struggles to amaze.
So understatement is my new-found friend —
Unloved, ignored and never loud
And shunned by the demented crowd,
He'll serve me to the end.
Sonnet for a Gnarled Olive Tree —
Old spirit, born of ancient loam
Yet wrenched and torn to foreign soil,
Your very roots and branches toil
In mindless longing for your home
Where Hesperus spreads a golden wing,
Bids nymphs and legends to awake,
With Venus and her maids to make
The slopes of Etna laugh and sing,
Where almond blossoms scent the air
With bouquets that intoxicate
And you, still heedless of your fate,
Were once so lithe and youthful there.
Yet stubbornly you daily strive
Among our eucalyptus to thrive.
Come salt, quicksilver, sulphur, alkahest!
Deliver here the magic that you hold,
From science and from sorcery impressed,
To turn my leaden thoughts to purest gold.
My muddied thoughts lie heavy on my mind.
I stir them, base and worthless they remain
Suspended, and no solvent do I find
To loose those stubborn notions from my brain.
But I'll not fear in older ways to tread;
In sacred halls of poetry I'll sup
And pour the trouble bubbling in my head
Into the sonnet's solid golden cup.
The planets all align and then — Behold!
The cup is clear and all my thoughts are gold.
Ante Tempus (a sestina)
My fond companion and my erstwhile friend,
Can I not then prevail on you to pause
And stay a little longer as before?
Arrest your frenzied flight and come to heel
And, as in days now past, heed my command!
Lie here in sweet obedience at my feet ...
My ally both in triumph and defeat,
I always counted you a faithful friend.
You came unfailing at my one command
And always you were there without a pause,
Content to play and fetch and run and heel.
If not for this, then what is friendship for?
Where are our joyful pleasures of before?
When grass was green and soft beneath our feet
And every woe and sorrow I could heal
Just knowing you were my forever friend.
Those carefree days went by without a pause
When joy and wonder were mine to command.
When life and love were all mine to command
Still you were there beside me as before —
Mine always to command without a pause.
The wonders of the world lay at my feet
But soon I came to need a steadfast friend
When life, the world and love brought me to heel.
I had a new perspective, brought to heel,
And time to question who was in command
And I could see the value of a friend
In ways that I had never seen before
And I perceived the swiftness of your feet
And heard the hurried rhythm of your paws.
And Time, you will not for one moment pause,
Or turn yourself around, or come to heel,
Or lie in sweet obedience at my feet ...
Your headstrong flight is not mine to command.
It's time now to deplore that Time before
That was my faithful and forever friend.
For you no longer pause at my command
Or fetch or play or heel as once before.
You fly on fleeting feet, no longer friend.
Marital Grammar —
When you and I were fancy free
We had no real concept of "we"
But we "two" had a lot of fun
Deciding which "one" to become.
To circumvent the etiquette
Of subject, verb and predicate,
Life soon decreed a hybrid form
Of compound noun to be the norm;
From that time on we would be known
In tandem terms: Darby-and-Joan,
Or mum-and-dad or pop-and-gran,
Or very simply wife and man.
I parse my sentence now and see:
Life's had its way with You and Me!